Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith
Prophet, Seer and Revelator

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Joseph's Message to Brigham Young

: “Tell the people to be humble and faithful and [be] sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach [you what] to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits. It will whisper peace and joy to their souls, and it will take malice, hatred, envying, strife, and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness, and build up the kingdom of God. Tell the brethren if they will follow the Spirit of the Lord they will go right” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 98).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Joseph Smith appears to Brigham Young

Joseph Smith cared enough about us to come back and tell Brigham Young to keep us on the straight and narrow. I love learning about the Holy Ghost. It is the most wonderful gift in the world. I only hope I can live my life so I am worthy to receive this blessing.

Several years after the Prophet Joseph Smith was killed, he appeared to President Brigham Young and said: “Tell the people to . . . keep the Spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. . . the small still voice . . . will teach [you what] to do and where to go; . . . Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open . . . so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits. It will whisper peace and joy to their souls, . . . and their whole desire will be to do good. . . if they will follow the Spirit of the Lord they will go right” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 98).

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Brigham Young's Mission to England

After the Saints were driven out of Missouri and the Prophet Joseph was free from prison, Brigham was called on a mission to England in 1839. He and his family were living in an old army barracks in Montrose, Iowa, on the swampy banks of the Mississippi River. Many of the Mormons, including Brigham and Mary Ann, got sick with malaria. Brigham could hardly get out of bed. Even though he was ill, he knew he needed to begin his mission. He wanted to serve the Lord because he loved missionary work.

His sister Fanny told him to stay home until he felt better, but he said he was going even though he was unwell. He started out, crossing the Mississippi River, but only got as far as Heber C. Kimball’s house on the other side. Heber and his family were also sick. Brigham rested there for four days. Mary Ann (Brigham's wife) found out he was still close by and came across the river to see him. Brigham and Heber could hardly walk because of their sickness, but they knew they had to leave for England. They climbed into the open wagon box to start the trip. Their wives stood in the doorway, watching. Heber said as they rode off, “This is no way to leave. Let’s give them a cheer.” Heber and Brigham wobbled to their feet and raised their hats, shouting, “Hurrah for Israel.” Heavenly Father blessed them to get well, and they were on their way to a successful mission with others of the twelve apostles.

Brigham and the other apostles converted between seven and eight thousand people during the year they were in Great Britain. What far-reaching effects those missionaries have had when we consider the generations of Church members that have come from these baptisms, missionary work performed by their descendants and temple work completed by family members.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Missionary Work

Even before Brigham Young was baptized, he and his brother-in-law John P. Greene went to Canada to meet with Brigham's brother, Joseph Young, a Methodist minister. Brigham told Joseph that the Lord had spoken through a prophet in the latter-days.

Brigham and his brother, Joseph were baptized and went back to Canada. "We traveled two hundred and fifty miles in snow a foot and a half deep, with a foot of mud under it. We traveled, preached and baptized 45 people in the dead of winter." Brigham Young

"I wanted to thunder and roar out the Gospel to the nations. It burned in my bones like fire pent up, so I [began] to preach . . . Nothing would satisfy me but to cry abroad in the world, what the Lord was doing in the latter days." Brigham Young.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Brigham Young Meets Joseph Smith

After Brigham's baptism, he really wanted to meet Joseph Smith. He and his good friend, Heber C. Kimball, made their way to Kirtland to visit the Prophet. He found Joseph Smith out chopping wood with Hyrum. Brigham could tell from the moment he met the Prophet that Joseph was inspired of God.

Joseph Smith knew the destiny of Brigham Young because Joseph told others that Brigham would some day lead the Church.

As soon as he could, Brigham and Heber moved to Kirtland to be near the Prophet Joseph. Joseph told Brigham that there were to be twelve apostles chosen to preach the gospel to the world. The three witness of the Book of Mormon were to choose the apostles. Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris selected Brigham Young as an Apostle of the Lord. Brigham was ordained on February 14, 1835.

"The twelve shall be my disciples, and they shall take upon them my name . . . And by [their] hands I will work a marvelous work among the children of men . . . that [many] may come unto the kingdom of my Father."
D&C 18:27, 44.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Seven p.m. in the Lion House - time for family prayer:

The smooth tones of a bell floated throughout the house. Everyone left what they were doing and hurried down the hall. The patter of children’s small feet could be heard, skipping from every direction, followed by more-grown up footsteps. The family met in the parlor for prayer.

Eliza R. Snow sat in a place of honor, and sometimes Brigham's brothers, Joseph and Lorenzo, were present.
Brigham Young sat in a large chair, a small leather-bound book lay open in his hands. Candles flamed from brass candle sticks, giving the room a golden glow. Brigham discussed the scriptures, telling his family they should read the scriptures as if they were present in the scene. "Do you read them [the scriptures] as though you stood in the place of the men who wrote them?"

Everyone sang a hymn and then knelt. Brigham prayed for his family, the sick and the afflicted, and the Saints.

A discussion of plans and activities and events of the day followed.

"I do not know any other way for the Latter-daySaints than for every breath to be . . . a prayer for God to guide and direct his people."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Higher Purpose

On the surface, Zion's Camp looked like a failure, but if we look a little deeper it had a higher purpose. Nine of the first twelve apostles were on that march. Brigham Young was among the faithful. He watched Joseph Smith's leadership carefully. He said later of the experience that was where he first learned to lead Zion.

Brigham Young said, “I feel like shouting Hallelujah, all the time, when I think that I ever knew Joseph Smith." He loved the  Prophet Joseph with all his heart. What a blessing that Brigham Young was on that march.
What about your lives. Can you find the blessings in your difficult times? What is your higher purpose? How can you bless your fellowmen?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Brigham's first job

Brigham left home when he was 16. He went to work as a carpenter, and his first task was to make a bed from an old, water-soaked log. An impossible task? He measured, sawed, hammered, scraped and notched until he had a beautiful bed frame.

He became a fine craftsman. Some of his furniture and mantle pieces are in museums in New England today.

Prophets In Person

I have created this blog because I love to read about the prophets. The fun little tid bits I'll post will enhance a Family Home Evening Lesson, teach a gospel principle or just bring a little chuckle. I love knowing that these prophets were human just like the rest of us.
My focus will be on the Pioneer Prophets to begin with, then I'll branch out into other time periods.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Brigham Young Child Advocate

Brigham Young loved his children. He built a special room on the back of his home that was a gymnasium for his children. There were balls, ladders, hoops, weights, roller skates, marbles, etc, etc. for his children to play with.

As a child he wished for enrichment and fun. He loved dancing, music and theater when he was older and saw that his children took time to sing, participate in theater and enjoy dancing if they wished.

He treated his children with kindness, and they adored him.

Monday, October 11, 2010

God's help

When Brigham Young took the first pioneer company across the Platte River to reach Fort Laramie, the water was raging high. The men tried to ferry the wagons across the water, but they flipped. They built a small raft to float the wagons across, but the water dashed it to pieces. They finally had to construct a strong ferry with large logs to withstand the force of the river to get their wagons across. God could have parted the waters like He did for Moses and the Red Sea, but He never does anything for us that we can do for ourselves. Heavenly Father provided them with the man power and logs and expected them to step up to the plate. Without that principle, agency would be in jeopardy. Hard work makes us strong.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Temple Appreciation

Temple Appreciation

Brigham Young felt such an urgency to have a working temple in the west that he dedicated the baptistry and first floor, plus a couple of sealing rooms of the St. George Temple on January 1, 1877. The entire temple was completed and dedicated that April. But, during the meantime, Brigham did much of the work for his own family. I wonder if we feel the sense of uorgency that he did. Do I appreciate them temple like I should? This is a good reminder.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Time for Fun

Just been writing about Brigham Young again. He had a paddle-wheel boat called the 'Timely Gull' on the Great Salt Lake. A horse walking on a tread mill powered the paddle wheel. Brigham only sailed the boat a few times because a storm demolished it.

Just a silly bit of trivia that you probably didn't want to know.

He took visitors and his kids to swim in the salt water as often as he could. They changed their clothes behind a big black rock - boys on one side and girls on the other.

He worked hard, but he was also out for some fun. How are we in our lives? I need to be sure I include the fun also.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Brigham Young was really kind and understanding of his children. He not only built them a gym on the back of his house that had every imaginable type of physical equipment - hoops, skates, ladders, but he saw that his daughters learned to dance and allowed them to participate in the Salt Lake Theater (those that wanted to).

He encouraged them to attend family prayer daily.

Education was important to him. He didn't have the opportunity to go to school, but he made sure his kids had every chance they wanted to avail themselves of.

When he spoke to the parents of the church, he asked that children be treated with kindness and set a good example for them.

I guess the thing I like most about this part of his life is that he 'chose' to make a home for his children that included more enrichment than the way he was raised. The reports I have read say that his children adored him.

Brigham Young chose what kind of a person he would be. He was really intune with his agency. I really admire that.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wilford and the Bull

When Wilford Woodruff was a child, he met with many accidents. At times he barely escaped with his life.

His father had a small herd of horned cattle - one of which was a surly bull. One evening Wilford was feeding pumpkins to the herd when the bull took a pumpkin Wilford had given to his favorite cow. Wilford was upset at the bull and swiped the bull's pumpkin to give to his cow. The bull became angry with Wilford when Wilford picked up the pumpkin and chased him. Wilford ran with all his might down the hill.

His father called to Wilford to drop the pumpkin, but Wilford held it tightly. It was for his favorite cow. The bull gained speed and almost caught up with Wilford when Wilford stumbled on a rock and fell to the ground. The pumpkin rolled out of his arms and the bull leaped over Wilford and gored the pumpkin to pieces. "Undoubtedly he would have done the same thing to me if I had not fallen to the ground. This escape, like all others, I attribute to the mercy and good ness of God." (Wilford Woodruff's journal)

Wilford was ever faithful, even as a child, attributing his safety to a loving Heavenly Father

Brigham Young meets Joseph Smith

Brigham Young meets Joseph Smith

After Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball were baptized, they wanted to meet the Prophet Joseph Smith. They left their children in the care of Heber's wife and travelled to Kirtand. When they came to Joseph's home, Emma told them the Prophet was in the back woods chopping fire wood with his brothers. Brigham approached Brother Joseph, who was tall, blond and very friendly. When Brigham shook Joseph Smith's hand, joy surged through him, and he knew Joseph was a prophet of God. The spirit witnessed to Brigham of Joseph's mission.

The men went back to Joseph's home to talk. Brigham and Heber were eager to learn all they could about the Church while they were in Kirtland. When Brigham was away from the group, Joseph told the men that Brigham would one day lead the Church.

Soon Brigham moved to Kirtland to be close to the Prophet. He was called to be an apostle of the Lord and his testimony of Joseph never wavered - even though apostasy raged around him. He loved Joseph Smith with every fiber of his being and that testimony never left him.

Brigham Young and the robin

Brigham Young - hungry and lonely

Brigham and his mother were good friends. She was sick with tuberculosis so Brigham helped her with the housework. (When he was the prophet, he said he could do housework as well as any woman - and maybe he could.) She got progressively worse and died when he was fourteen.

After that his father was gone much of the time, leaving Brigham and his younger brother, Lorenzo, home to clear the land.

One day Brigham and Lorenzo spent the day out chopping branches, digging out roots, burning the bushes - hard manual labor. As the sun began to set Brigham and Lorenzo started for home. They knew there was nothing in the house to eat. It was early summer and all the fox, deer and other game animals were further into the woods. What could they find to eat?

The boys tramped toward home. Brigham missed his mother. When she was alive there was always food in the house and a welcoming voice when he and Lorenzo got home. Now there would be only emptiness. Brigham spotted a robin flitting from branch to branch near their cabin. He crept quietly into the house to get the gun and shot the robin.

The boys plucked and dressed the bird. They boiled it in a kettle of water and dumped the last of the flour dust from the empty barrel into the pot to made a watery broth. It wasn't much, but at least it was something.

Brigham knew what it was like to be hungry and lonely.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Brigham Young grew up in a strict Methodist home without fun and entertainment. As he got older, he decided that he wanted things to be different for his children. He wanted dancing, music, and the theater to be part of their lives. He made a conscious effort to create an enriching environment for his family.

Brigham Young watched some contention among the Apostles in the early days of the Church. When he became the President of the Quorum of the Twelve, he decided he would treat those around him with love and kindness.

The first meeting the Church held after the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Brigham records that he felt overwhelming compassion for the Saints. He wanted to be their protector and nurture them. Love and charity became part of his leadership, and the Saints loved him for it.

Brigham decided how he wanted things to be in his life and set about to create that dynamic. Would that we could all be that way.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Temple Work for a Nephite

Wilford Woodruff loved temples and temple work. When he and a group of brethren left Kirtland, Ohio, and began the treck to Missouri with Joseph Smith, they found a burial mound. Joseph Smith said it belonged to the Nephites and asked them to dig into the mound. They found the skeleton of a man with an arrow sticking in his backbone. The Prophet Joseph said the man's name was Zelph and he fought for the Nephites at the time of the great slaughter. Wilford brought Zelph's thigh bone to Missouri. He wanted to bury it in the Temple Block in Jackson County, but because of the persecution, wasn't able to, so he buried it in Clay County. At least Wilford got Zelph closer to the temple.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Danger, Lorenzo Snow, Danger

Danger, Lorenzo Snow, Danger

Lorenzo Snow and his sister, Eliza R. Snow, accompanied George A. Smith on a trip to dedicate the Holy Land for the return of the Jews. On the way, they stopped in Napels, Italy. The group hired a guide to take them to the mouth of Mt. Vesuvius even though there had been a small eruption the day before. Hiking up the the volcano was difficult for the path had a foot of ash and sand on it. When the party reached the top, they peered into the gaping mouth of the hot bubbling volacano. They all threw rocks over the edge of the crater. The rocks took 30 seconds to reach the bottom. Several of the party climbed up to a rock ledge the jutted out into the crater. They threw sticks into the burning inferno and watched them blaze into nothing in seconds.

How dangerous is that? Especially since the volcano exploded only the day before!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Brigham Young the Inventor

Did you know that Brigham Young worked for a shop that painted boats? It was a difficult task to crush the dye to color the paint so he invented a dye crusher. The shop owner thought it was a great invention.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Music and Dance

Brigham Young's mother loved to sing and enjoyed parties. Brigham himself loved to sing and dance. When the new meeting house was finished at Winter Quarters, Brigham dedicated it and then held a dance.

In the Salt Lake Valley Brigham encouraged the Saints to sing and dance. He built the Salt Lake Theater with nails he bought from Buchanan's army when they left the valley for the Civil War.

He wanted everyone to work hard, but also have time for play.

Indian Delicacies

The Indians gave John Taylor a delicious paste, sweetened with honey. His family loved it! They had just arrived in the Salt Lake Valley and were tired of eating dried beef and flour cakes. John asked the Indians how they made the sweet treat. An old Indian showed him. First they encircled a field with fire. As it burned toward the middle, the crickets hopped into the center and were roasted crispy and brown. The burned crickets were crushed into a paste and honey was added. How much of the paste do you think they ate after they found out how it was made?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Missionary Work in India

Did you know that Lorenzo Snow was the first Apostle to think about missionary work in India? He sent missionaries there and they baptized almost 200 people.

Brigham Young in Person

Did you know that Brigham Young became very good at doing house work? Since his mother had tuberculosis, he learned to do dishes, clean the house, do the wash, make beds, make bread. When he was older he bragged that he could do housework as well as anyone.

Brigham and the Cow

Did you know that Brigham Young's mother had tuberculosis when he was young so his older sister Fanny took care of him? Brigham loved Fanny. She was his favorite. The cow also loved Fanny. The cow liked Fanny to milk her better than anyone else. So every morning and evening, Fanny cradled Brigham on her hip while she milked the cow.